Brand identity and package design has entered into its 4th generation. And in this next phase, the brand will never again have the same message to the 100 million consumers. It will offer 100 million "on-brand" messages customized to each individual consumer. To trace this progress, its relevant to understand how branding evolved from its onset.
Those of us who run design consultancies embrace change. In fact, we are often our client's primary "change agents". We foresee the emerging need in the ever-evolving market, and mold our clients' brands and experiences to meet that new need.
Trademarks are everywhere. They're embodied in logos and symbols (Nike's Swoosh), color schemes (John Deere's green and yellow), numbers (501 jeans), slogans ("Eat Fresh"), and even shapes (Method's product packaging). They're memorable. They distinguish products and services of one provider from those of another, ensuring that customers do not confuse their source. In fact, avoiding consumer confusion is trademark law's primary goal.
Several months ago, a well-respected Fortune 500 consumer products corporation asked its design leader to fire his entire staff and re-hire them under the payroll of one of its pre-press consultants. As a reward for completing this awkward transition, the design manager was, in turn, laid off.
In the past few weeks I have heard marketing directors from three different large consumer packaged goods companies begin a strategic brand identity design discussion with the warning, "My brand needs significant enhancement, but don't to go too crazy.
Today's world is cluttered with messages. In this enviromnent, Rob Wallace urges simplicity. Powerful brands cut through perceptional noise with a memorably iconic and minimalist approach to colors and symbols. Case studies amplify the principles he advocates, and a three-step process outlines specific criteria managers can use to build designs that are visually clean and engaging.
I've spent the better part of 20 years on the package/brand identity design pulpit.With my colleagues in corporate and consultant design, I have tried to spread the gospel of package design's pre-eminent role in communicating the brand's core identity, its emotional essence, and its primary connection to consumers.
Brand extensions are more than twice as likely to succeed as new brands. With mega-brands like Crest extending to more than 80 SKUs in the United States alone and over 300 products worldwide, today's brands are not just expanding-they are hyper-proliferating.